Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Center for Economics, Business, and Entrepreneurship Education

We (Susquehanna University and the Sigmund Weis School of Business) just launched a Center for Economics, Business, and Entrepreneurship Education.  

Excerpt from the press release:
"We are very excited to help those who educate children of all ages develop new and innovative ways to integrate business education into their classrooms," Fleck said. "At Susquehanna, our mission is to serve and nothing like this exists within a 90-minute drive of Susquehanna; so providing this type of resource for teachers is needed and will benefit thousands of students." 
Full story here.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

2017-2018 Speaker Series at Susquehanna University

We are bringing three great speakers to the Susquehanna University Campus during the 2017-2018 academic year. This is the fourth year we are hosting a speaker series and this year's presentations should be fun and educational. (See herehere, and here for information on the previous three years.) 

The three speakers are:

Dan Kuester, Kansas State University

“Finding Economic Concepts in The Big Bang Theory, The Office and Other Television Shows” 
Monday, November 6th 
Degenstein Campus Theatre, Susquehanna University 7:00 PM

Brian O’Roark, Robert Morris University

“Economics Lessons from The Hunger Games, Divergent, and other Dystopian Novels”

Monday, January 29th
Faylor Lecture Hall, Susquehanna University 7:30 PM

Michelle Vachris, Virginia Wesleyan University

“Pride and Profit: The Intersection of Adam Smith and Jane Austin”
Wednesday, March 28th
Faylor Lecture Hall, Susquehanna University 7:30 PM

As each presentation gets closer, I will provide bios for each presenter and a bit of background on their talk.  

Monday, July 10, 2017

Interview on Broadway Economics

I was interviewed about Broadway Economics for "In Your Neighborhood" by Service Electric Cable Vision.  

In part 1, I come on at the 14:15 point.  My interview continues with part 2.

Here are the links:

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPQ4KYyPcNM&feature=youtu.be 
Part 2: https://youtu.be/5161J_gAIKs

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Books I have read recently

Over the past few months, I haven't had too much time for leisure reading.  But I've read a bit - some for fun and some for work.  Here is a brief summary of a few books I've read recently:

Having Difficult Conversations (Douglas Stone et al.)  


The Academic Administrator's Survival Guide (C. Gunsalus)

Given my new role as Interim Dean, I wanted to read up a bit more on some issues that might arise.  They are good, but unless you are going into a managerial role, I couldn't recommend.

Verbal Poker Tells (Zachary Elwood)

I've played poker for many years, but most of my play has been online.  When I play live, I'm mostly quiet, but this has been interesting to understand how the words of others correlate with the strength of their poker holdings.

Thinking Tournament Poker - volume 1 and volume 2 (Nate Meyvis)

These two books contained hand-by-hand analyses of hands played by a top professional at the World Series of Poker main event.  I recommend for poker fans.

Brain Rules (John Medina)

This was recommended by my finance colleague, Peter DaDalt, who said it was like "Freakonomics about the brain".  It is in an interesting book and has some useful tidbits in there for teachers.

Doing Bad by Doing Good (Christopher Coyne)

Good book about how humanitarian aid can easily backfire and do more harm than good.  This has led me to think a bit more about the most efficient charities.  The ones that come to the top of my mind are anything that might improve the health of a poor country.  That should then increase the productivity in an area which should foster economic growth.  (As far as organizations - perhaps Doctors Without Borders, vaccine shipments, improving water quality.)

Stop Acting Rich: And Start Living Like a Real Millionaire (Thomas Stanley)

Interesting data about the consumption patterns of the wealthy.  (With more than $1 million in net wealth.)  Many millionaires are not flashy - and most consumption items are not correlated with increases in happiness.  Stanley finds that spending on experiences do increase happiness, confirming other research.

Order to Kill (Vince Flynn and Kyle Mills)

This is the latest book in the Mitch Rapp series.  Like the others, it is fantastic.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Video on survival jobs

As you know, I'm a big theatre fan.  I also know it is a tough industry.  Here are interviews with some of the best actors in the world on jobs they took to survive until they hit it big.  It is quite interesting.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Musical Entrepreneurship

Sorry for the lack of posts - my new role has kept me busy.

I have a new project online, however.  My colleague Emma Fleck and I have created MusicalEntrepreneurship.com.

The goal is to teach entrepreneurship concepts through songs.  We only have a five songs posted now, but more are on the way.  Stay tuned for updates.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Thoughts on Sweden

I accompanied 20 of our (fantastic) business students on a trip to Sweden.  These students are all juniors and part of the schools London program.  Overall it was a great trip.  Some brief thoughts:

The Good:

1. Stockholm feels incredibly safe.  Some locals told me it is a bit less safe now relative to a few years ago with the increased immigration.  Compared to US cities, however, it seems fantastically safe.

2. The people are friendly, although if I would stereotype them, I'd say there are a lot of "hipsters".

3. I've been impressed by their pizza.  It is more "Italian style" and is very tasty.

4. Their beers are good - really good, in fact.  We had a tour of a great place called Stockholm Brewing Company.

5. I also saw the Vasa Museum, Old Town, and History of Money Museum.

6.  I also visited Uppsala - a city about 30 minutes north of Stockholm.  It was a fun little city with a great town square, a prestigious university, and some historic sites.  (Including King Vasa's tomb.)

The bad:

Most of the bad boils down to socialism.

7. It snowed, and they don't know how to clear snow from city streets or sidewalks.  Given it snows a reasonable amount there, it seems crazy that they wouldn't do a better job with this.

8. Their casinos are run by the government.  I guess in the states we see governments running the lottery, but governments running the casino still seems really odd to me.  They also charge an admission fee - 6 Euros for one entry of 15 Euros for an annual pass.  The casino was clean and and the blackjack rules were not awful, but they don't give you free drinks (of any sort - not even a soda) when you're playing.

Where this really looked like socialism was in the poker room, where there were very long lines to get into a game.  I had never, before Sweden, put my name on a list to get into a poker game and not played poker that day.  That happened here.  In the states, the profit-maximizing casinos have an incentive to serve customers - but in Sweden they do not.

Given the government runs the casinos, this shouldn't be surprising.  They do exactly what you'd expect from a socialist entity - they run it OK, but would be forced out of business fast if there was any competition by not serving their customers in a better way.

9.  The state runs the liquor stores like Pennsylvania.  To "protect" their citizens they close at 3:00 PM on Saturday and are not open at all on Sunday.

10. It is an expensive city.  I used to think London was expensive.  But it is not compared to Stockholm.